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China key to globalized energy, EU says

May 7, 2012 at 8:46 AM   |   Comments

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BRUSSELS, May 7 (UPI) -- China has a vital role to play in a globalized energy sector where energy security is a key ingredient in national security, a European official said.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Brussels for the first-ever bilateral summit on energy policy. European officials said that, with a European energy market valued at $815 billion and a healthy Chinese economy, the decisions each government makes will have sweeping consequences.

"Without energy security, there is no national security," the European Union's Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said before the summit. "If our energy is not sustainable, it can never be secure. This is true not just for the EU."

Both sides, he said, have faced their own energy crises. Europe in 2009 suffered a major gas shortage because of spats between gas-rich Russia and transit-nation Ukraine. China, meanwhile, is expecting major summer electricity shortages because of declining coal and hydroelectric output.

Oettinger said these issues shouldn't be repeated in an era of globalized energy. In terms of climate issues, he added that sustainability and green-energy efforts went hand-in-hand.

Global cooperation, he said, would help hasten the shift toward a low-carbon future.

"China is a vital player in this story," he said.

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